Halsey breaks from fantasy, brings listeners inside her ‘Manic’ mind

Following the huge commercial and critical success of chart-topping song, “Without Me,” Halsey has proven that she is a modern music mainstay with her third album “Manic.” The album, released on Jan. 17, features 16 songs including collaborations with artists ranging from Alanis Morissette to SUGA and BTS. 

The album gracefully weaves a narrative of heartbreak, love, courage and growth – subjects that have certainly been at the forefront of the music superstar’s personal life since her last commercial release in 2017.  

Halsey’s musical evolution is evident throughout most of the tracks on the album. With “Manic,” Halsey transitions into more of a pop-influenced sound all while retaining the alternative musical undertones that simply make Halsey, Halsey. 

With an unmistakable grit to her voice, Halsey shines on tracks “Clementine” and “Killing Boys.” The album is sure to have something for just about everyone to enjoy with pop bangers “Without Me,” “Graveyard” and “Alanis’ Interlude.” If you prefer the more classic and alternative sounding Halsey, then songs such as “You Should Be Sad” and “Still Learning” will certainly be your favorites.          

Throughout the album, Halsey takes us on a musical journey as several songs transition into one another. In the first track on the album, “Ashley,” Halsey samples movie dialogue from “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” that is spoken by the young protagonist, Clementine, who shares her name with the album’s second track. 

The same can be said for “Dominic’s Interlude” and “I HATE EVERYBODY,” as the rhythm, music and beats flow so seamlessly that one would think that the two are one. “Manic” can be seen as Halsey’s most personal album to date as she touches on subjects such as infertility on the track “More” with lyrics such as, “And when you decide it’s your time to arrive / I’ve loved you for all of my life.”

As the album winds down and the narrative reaches its conclusion, the theme of growth and acceptance from Halsey’s journey reaches its climax in the last track of the album, “Still Learning.” 

“Manic” can be described as nothing less than music in its purest art form. The visuals that accompany the album are absolutely breathtaking as we see Halsey in a way we have never before. She has come a long way from the indie influences of her early career and it shows as her craft has masterfully evolved. 

As many artists fail to recreate the success and maintain the quality of their previous works, Halsey is the exception. Many questioned if after the release of “Without Me,” Halsey had become too mainstream, played out or simply a fad. This album shuts down any skeptics to her work. As Halsey said in a summer 2019 Rolling Stone interview, this album has “hip hop, rock, country, f***ing everything.”